One simple word. Yet is speaks so much.
Almost everything in life needs to be earned.
That body you want.
That PR you are chasing.
Those results at school or university.
That performance rating at work.
Every. Single. Thing. Must. Be. EARNED.
I really don't know too many people who had things just handed to them. Sometimes it may look like good luck favored some people but when you look closely it really wasn't luck at all. It was earned. They worked for it. They worked for every little thing. They worked even when no one was looking - in fact they probably did most of the work alone when no one was around.
That body you envy on someone else? They didn't get it by dieting for 2 weeks. They have been consistently good for months if not years and will continue to do so if they want to keep looking like that. They say no to themselves every single day.
That strong person at the gym who looks like they do everything easy. They have gone to the gym 5 times a week, every week for years, even when they didn't feel like it. They didn't take extended breaks, they went all the time. They pushed themselves every day. They never said "I'm taking it easy today". They did it even though it was hard.
That person who graduated top of their class. They didn't study 8 hours before the exam. They attended all their classes, listened to their professor, did their assessments on time and planned for their exams even at the expense of going out with their friends.
That person who got the promotion. They listened to negative feedback, they worked on improving themselves. They didn't complain or whine, they listened to what their boss wanted and got on with it and got their work done on time every time.
Unfortunately we live in a world full of instant gratification. Many expect to get everything immediately and expect to get it with minimal effort. The reality is the world just does not work like that. Results take consistent, focused effort for an extended period of time. There is no finish line to success, the behaviors must continue for the results to continue. If the work stops the results stop. You must earn the results every single day. We all have out lazy moments and no one is perfect but you can't be lazy 80% of the time and expect results.
I consider myself to be one of those people that works. One of those people that has earned what they have. I was lucky in that I was born with brains but I also work hard, all the time, and have done so ever since I can remember. Many things (like my diet) have been a work in progress for a long time and it has only been in recent years that I have felt like I have really improved there but I can't say I ever rest at trying to improve myself. Don't get me wrong, life isn't all rainbows and unicorns - I have many imperfect moments, many failures and times when I have been lazy but those moments don't last long. Whenever I am feeling sorry for myself or upset that I haven't achieved something I ask myself:
- What have you actually done to earn this result?
- Is sitting around feeling sorry for myself actually helping me?
- What am I going to do about it?
Then I get up and start doing what I need to. Work makes me feel better. Action makes me feel better. Action makes me feel in control. Action gets results and then the cycle of optimism and positivity begins.
What have you earned today?